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Poland man who introduced Obama violated ‘trade secrets,’ owes company

Published: Sat, July 7, 2012 @ 12:10 a.m.

SEE ALSO: • Amid dreary news on jobs, president in Poland puts sunny spin on economy

• Owner of restaurant in Akron dies hours after visit by Obama

• Study shows instability in Ohio’s economy

•Boardman food plant pleases president

By David Skolnick



The man who introduced Barack Obama in Poland on Friday was found by a judge to have violated “trade secrets” from a previous employer and owes $515,218 to that company.

Daniel Potkanowicz of Poland described himself as a once unemployed mill worker who now works for Summer Garden Food Manufacturing in Boardman.

Potkanowicz along with Michael Angelilli, a former partner, and their company, Michael Daniel Corp., have not paid any money to Clearview Window & Door of Youngstown despite the Feb. 3, 2009, decision by visiting Judge Thomas P. Curran of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.

Angelilli’s bankruptcy filing in June 2010 halted any payment by him, Potkanowicz and their company, which went out of business shortly after the court ruling.

Potkanowicz told The Vindicator on Friday that Michael Daniel Corp. went out of business in 2009 because “we sort of ran out of money,” and not because of the successful Clearview lawsuit.

Richard Albright, Clearview’s owner, said Michael Daniel went out of business because of the court decision.

Richard Rohrbaugh, the attorney who represented the defendants, also said the court decision “put them out of business.”

When asked to comment on the Clearview case, Potkanowicz said, “That’s part of my life I really don’t want to go into. I’m not really talking about that.”

Potkanowicz said the Obama campaign selected him after asking management at Summer Garden — a Boardman company that the president visited before an invitation-only rally at Dobbins Elementary School in Poland — about the concerns of some of the plant’s employees.

“That’s how I got” to introduce Obama, he said. “I spoke to [campaign officials] on the phone, and they liked my story.”

Jessica Kershaw, an Obama spokeswoman, declined to comment specifically about the vetting process that led to Potkanowicz’s selection.

“I’m wondering who put him up there” with the president, Albright said. “He was involved in a scandal, and he’s introducing the president.”

Albright also questioned how Potkanowicz could be called a formerly unemployed mill worker. Potkanowicz’s attorney said his client was a former “wood mill worker” because of his time at Clearview.

Potkanowicz said he works in Summer Garden’s maintenance department, repairing machines.

Potkanowicz was Clearview’s plant manager for about 15 years before being fired in late 2002 for failing to meet company expectations, Albright said.

Angelilli quit in early 2003, and Alfred Boggia quit shortly thereafter, Albright said.

Clearview makes specialized window and trim products. The three former Clearview employees created their own company providing the same products.

Albright said the three stole engineering drawings and his company’s client list, and he sued them.

During the lawsuit, Boggia agreed to testify on behalf of Clearview against Potkanowicz , and Angelilli, and was removed as a defendant by Clearview, Albright said.

Albright said he received several calls when people saw Potkanowicz on television introducing the president.

“My legal counsel was pleased to see” that Potkanowicz is employed, and Clearview will be seeking money owed by him, Albright said.

Rohrbaugh said Friday that his clients contended the specialized window and trim product manufacturing were common knowledge and not “trade secrets.”

But “the judge disagreed with us and issued a verdict against them,” Rohrbaugh said. “We couldn’t have disagreed more with the judge’s decision.”


1NoBS(2758 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

Is this The Vindicator or The National Enquirer?

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2lee(544 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

He was a good fit with Obama.

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3home_sweet_home(4 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

I thought all of Ohio supported Obama. Glad to see there are some right-minded folks still there. :)

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4palbubba(802 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

Perfect fit, two dishonest, devious people on the same stage. Another Obama supporter that has no intention of paying their debt. This says it all about the President. With all of the good people available they pick a criminal to introduce him.

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5Jerry(845 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

...................“I spoke to [campaign officials] on the phone, and they liked my story.”....................

That's what it's all about; the "story", the narrative, the appearance, the style. No substance. Reality does not matter and facts don't impede the advancement of the "story"

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6willinnyny(118 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

How can any intelligent, educated person take the Vindicator seriously?

The President of the United States comes to speak in Poland and the Vindicator does NOT cover it with a front-page, lead, headliner story?

Is that because our president is a Democrat or is it because he is Black — or both?

Clearly, the Vindicator is an ultra, right-wing propaganda rag masquerading as a newspaper.

I’m troubled that the good, hard-working people of the greater Youngstown area and the Mahoning Valley put up with such reactionary, yellow “journalism.”

Vindicator: Get Real!

Youngstown: Wake Up!

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7omerta1(1 comment)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

How about the company this guy stole from. Over a half million ..seems like he had a good position but that wasn't enough...greed...that's what it's all about!!

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8AtownAugie(882 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

@willinnyny -- you write "How can any intelligent, educated person take the Vindicator seriously?

"The President of the United States comes to speak in Poland and the Vindicator does NOT cover it with a front-page, lead, headliner story?

"Is that because our president is a Democrat or is it because he is Black — or both?"

Perhaps you missed the print edition today, where the President's visit is the big front-page story and photo. (Or to use your thinking, perhaps you are too intelligent and educated to check your facts before making such comments -- especially so when the facts do not feed your prejudices?)

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9lumper(301 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

the local democratic rep who got this guy to speak must be an idiot.

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10Education_Voter(1153 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

I see. Putting a new competitor out of business and into personal bankruptcy is not enough.
He must be hounded at any time he gets a minimum wage job.
Talk about overkill.
You won, okay Clearview?

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11redeye1(5612 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

danikytn Let me get this straigjt just because BO is president we must respect him WHY? Where I come from respect is earn , not a given. As far as I'm concerned he hasn't earn that yet. You see he lied about his healthcare plan saying that its not a tax, but he has his legal team go before the Supereme court to say that it is. So to me that makes him a "LIAR" I don't respect liars. This is going to be the largest tax increase in our history, so that we the working class can continue paying the medical bills of all wefare rats.

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12cambridge(4054 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

redeye1....you wrote "I don't like liars. This is going to be the largest tax increase in our history...."

Not even close. PolitiFact which is a Pulitzer Prize winner says "liar liar pants on fire". In fact they say less than reagan's tax increases. I don't like liars either.


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13lumper(301 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

will davey betras let us know who approved this guy to intro the prez? should've gotten jamel houser or that lady who said the baby fell on her house arrest monitor. they are much more appropriate y-town democrats. true obamians.

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14SkyKing310B(315 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

@danikytn- Please share with us what progress the president has made in the last 3 1/2 years except running up almost $6 trillion of additional debt for our grand kids to pay off.
The economy and job creation is being crushed by a multitude of new regulations from the EPA and other agencies. We can all look forward to higher utility bills and unemployment from this. As far as the economy itself, let's remember January 2007 when the Dems took over the House and the Senate. You can thank Barney Frank and Chris Dodd for the mess in the Housing industry and Banking industry and let's not forget Sen. Obama's speech about how unconscionable it would be to raise the debt ceiling even further. HMMMM... seems he forgot all about that last year when he wanted it raised.

Since the majority of voters in this county seem to be dead from the neck up and would vote for Donald Duck if he had a "D" after his name on the ballot, we might as well dust off the lists of all the people in our cemetaries so they can vote early and vote often- like they do in Chicago- to make sure we get another 4 years of misery, division, unemployment, food stamps, welfare and oh yes- more taxes on the working people in this country so more and more non-contributors can ride in the wagon the rest of us are pulling!

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15SkyKing310B(315 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

@gdog4766- dead from the neck up- huh? My point exactly!

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16Thomas1(14 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago


So because Obama is the president, he deserves our respect when he visits the Valley. Bush visited the Valley in 2004 and many protested his visit. I'm sure you were at the counter protest saying we should respect him because he is our president, right?

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17mrblue(1175 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

WOW! Some of you are really fired up. I would like to know who actually picked this guy to introduce the President. And by the way, you should respect the office, not necessarly the man.

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18Thomas1(14 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

There are some liars out there.

"If we pass the stimulus, unemployment will not exceed 8%."
"The Affordable Care Act is not a tax"
"The Affordable Care Act will not provide coverage for illegals."
"The private sector is doing just fine."

Ya do know the Hilary Clinton campaign started the birther movement, right? I guess just another set of liars.

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19CongressWatcher(225 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

What value was there in Obama sweeping into Poland on his magic bus, spouting a bunch of nonsense to a hand picked group of his die hard supporters so he could have a nice piece for CSPAN to play? All he did was once again show what a phony he really is and does not care too much for us middle class, non-union democrats. Nothing against the unions. They fight for whatever they can get. Just against the president who is so rapped up in campaigning that he appears to do very little governing. When he does influence congress, it is usually for legislative items that spend big dollars and do not affect me too much. In fact, most seem to be skewed toward union members in this country. That being said, the pre-existing condition portion of the ACA was a good thing. But this could have been introduced by itself. Also, thanks Mr. President for signing a transportation bill that put a number of my neighbors and friends out of business. They were silly enough to believe in this government and invent a roll your own cigarette machine for people to use and then make an investment to build and export them to other states. Soon they will be bankrupt for their entrepreneurial spirit. Silly entrepreneurs, who needs them anyway when we have spend and tax politicians to make government jobs for everyone? It is actions like this that make Rush Limbaugh sound like he has a brain once in awhile.

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20redeye1(5612 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

cambridge I was wrong about the tax increase , but he is still a liar. Didn't he say during the 2008 campaign that if he didn't get the economy right , he wouldn't run again. But there he is running again. This guy got a taste of the good life on the tax payers dime, so now he doesn't want to give it up.

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21300(573 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

Yes, you were wrong, Redeye. You were either ignorant, or a liar. The fact that you use the exact same phrases, verbatim, that I hear on talk radio or fox news says that you're most likely just ignorant.

Thankfully, even when you're proven wrong, you barely miss a step and proceed to post some other nonsense (like the 2008 quote that you got incorrect) that you think you remember.

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22redvert(2238 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

cambridge says"liar liar pants on fire", isn't that a little childish for someone that is supposed to be a adult. but, speaking of tax increases, how big will the tax increases have to be to keep the "land of fruits and nuts" from going completely belly up? Federal tax, state tax, county tax, city tax, street tax, did I miss anything? Looks like you are on a roll!.

How is that wonderful life in California working for you? Course you will say it is great as another city files for bankruptcy.

Might want to worry more about fairy land then about Ytown!!!

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23redeye1(5612 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

300 I didn't realize that you are such a smart person. That kool-aid that you keep drinking must have made you that way. If i make a mistake I admit it , unlike you who goes on to rant about other BS. Yes I did hear him say that he wouuldn't run again if he failed I'm now in the process of looking it up . So screw yourself!!!!!!!!!!!! But I'll also bet that you like Change in your pocket instead of folding money.

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24doubled(210 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

I response to those ignorant Middle-class Americans who say that they don't have to respect the president because he hasn't accomplished anything:
From 2009 - 2012:

*Teminated Osama Bin Laden
* 29 consecutive months of economic growth in the US, despite assuming the presidency during the worst economic recession since the Great Depression
*created 4 million new jobs
* Corporate earnings are higher than they have EVER been in the history of the United States
*Overhauled the food safety system;
*Approved the Lily Ledbetter "Equal Pay" for women rule;
*Ended "Don't Ask/Don't Tell" discrimination in the military;
*Passed the Hate Crimes bill in Congress;
*Appointed two progressive women to the U.S. Supreme Court including the first Latina;
*Pushed through the Affordable Health Care Act, outlawing denial of coverage for pre-existing conditions, extending until age 26 health care coverage of children under parent's plans, steps toward "Medicare for All;"
* Expanded the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) health care for children;
*Pushed through a $789 trillion economic stimulus bill that saved or created 3 million jobs and began task of repairing the nation's infrastructure;
*Overhauled the credit card industry, making it less predatory and more consumer friendly;
*Established the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and used a recess appointment to keep it on track in the face of GOP attempts to derail it;
* Succeeded in naming two members of the National Labor Relations Board blocked by the Republicans in their attempt to shut down the NLRB;
* Won two extensions of the debt ceiling and extensions of unemployment compensation -- all in the face of Republican threats to shut down the U.S. government, thereby rescuing the US credit rating/solvency;
*Pulled troops out of Iraq and has ordered and begun the draw down of troops in Afghanistan. Ended two wars while still inflicting devastating lossses on terrorists groups throughout the middle east.

Should I go on. I can if you want me to.
YOu may disagree with many of the things the man has done -- but don't say he hasn't done anything. And the majority of you who say that -- are certainly enjoying the benefits of his policies passed in the interest of the middle class.

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25jojuggie(1701 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

Hey doubled, you forgot a couple of things. Obama ran up more than 5 TRILLION OF DEBT. WHO IS GOING TO PAY THIS MASSIVE DEBT?
Also, approximately 45 MILLION people will be added to Obamacare. Many doctors, today are not taking new patients, and many doctors are retireing because of Obamacare. Do you have any idea how many new Govt. employees will be needed to administer Obamacare? You can be assured that down the road healthcare will be rationed. I will be 86 soon, and will probably will need a new right hip in the next 2 yrs. I can just see a GOVTOBAMACARE say "this guy is too old. Lst's spend the money on someone younger."
I would like to add this, when was the last time 3 former great cities like Cleveland, Detroit, and Youngstown, last, had a Repub mayor?

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26SkyKing310B(315 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

@doubled- I guess one man's trash is another man's treasure- Of the Items listed above as accomplishments, 8 of them have in one manner or fashion divided this country and I certainly would not consider them accomplishments. Most of the items you mention were just payback to special interest groups for giving him election money. When you control the White House and BOTH houses of Congress, you better get something done. It just a shame WHO he has done it TO!

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27Hippydude(1 comment)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

My fellow Americans, Obama is no worse than Romney,or any other president before them.All of congress is to blame,not republican,not democrat, all of them,are equally to blame.I have learned with the creation and passage of the highway bill signed Friday. Lobbyist money is the true ruler of people. 1 paragraph put over 10000 people out of a job for ryo tobacco machines all over the country.the bill passed the house,senate,and signed into law by Obama.Tim Ryan,capri cafaro, did nothing.big tobacco proved with money all things are possible in america you can even buy yourself a monopoly. republican,democrat,it truly makes no difference.Green is the only true party, from the color of Lobbist money.

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28jojuggie(1701 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

Hey FLHT, sound like your one of 9 people that listen to msnbc. You say you THINK Obama will give me a new hip.
At present I have a guarantee that I will get a new hip. Quite a difference, Huh?

Obama is not very presidential. Can you imagine FDR, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy or Clinton asking people to forsake their wedding gifts, and send him the money instead? How about the recent radio ads asking more people to apply for food stamps. Obama wants a dependent society.
By the way FLHT, you didn't answer my question - when was the last time 3 former great cities like Cleveland, Detroit, and Youngstown, last, had a Repub mayor?
The US is going to wind up like the state of CA. Demo Gov. Senate & House there.
Did you know that some lifeguards are being paid upwards of $130,000 per year.
The City of Stockton is in bankruptcy.
Some city fathers are arranging themselves $ 500, 000 pensions. I'll bet you haven't heard this on msnbc (lower Case).

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29jillyjac13(4 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

Once again,the Vindicator tries to ruin lives.There are always 2 sides to a story,but only this Albright guy gets to tell his version?Business ventures fail everyday,no murder committed....God help us.Clearly,someone has an axe to grind.Live by the sword.......l

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30jojuggie(1701 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

$120,000 life guards, and $500,000 mayors have nothing to do with my hip. I just wanted to show the sad state of affairs in this great country, & what the dems are doing to it.
Previously you mentioned Fox News. Hey man, there is no cable or network channel that has such smart & good looking chicks as FN. A couple of former judges, a Suprene Court Justice Clerk, A former San Francisco prosecutor, A former Rhodes scholar etc. etc. Then I think of that lady, on msnbc, at 9PM eastern. WOW! You have to be kidding me.

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31SkyKing310B(315 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

@FLHTCUI- Romney doesn't want to cut medicare or social security for current recipients or those 55 & over. His position is to modify the system so it won't go broke (which it is close to doing). It would only effect those under 55. You've been listening to CNN and msnbc too much. Besides, Medicare and Social Security shouldn't even be included in the federal budget as they are funded by payroll taxes specifically earmarked for those programs.

When tax dollars are put in the general fund instead of their special accounts, it is nothing more than an opportunity for the politicians to steal it and spend it on programs totally unrelated to Med & SS. Another reason why the system is going broke.

If you look at the history of SS from the time FDR set it up, it was to help people save for retirement, not a retirement system, in and of itself, but a supplement. It was also supposed to be voluntary, never to be taxed and to be funded 1/3 by the employee, 1/3 by the employer and 1/3 by the government. The last 1/3 has never been put in. One thing nobody talks about are the people who paid into the system but will never collect a dime from it.

In 1987, the law was changed for people who had another pension plan in addition to SS like PERS, SERS, STRS, etc. Even though these people may have worked in the private sector and paid into SS, they were told that they could only have one, the greater of the 2 or they would be double dipping. This is pure BS. With the number of people in this country receiving SSI who never paid into the system, why should those who did be denied? Also SSI is not taxable income, SS benefits can be, depending on one's income. Now that's real fair, isn't it?

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32OldSchool2(20 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

...as we look for handouts to make this day easier, we welcome big government( socialist approach) that will steal our freedoms and health care options and those of our children. Stay informed and aware, and read about those from European countries that come here FOR those freedoms that we are so willing to give up!

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33kg4f4d(1 comment)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

No doubt it is Bush's fault that he purloined trade secrets. Where is the outrage from MSNBC et al?

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34Windows2vinyl(1 comment)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

Need to set this story straight. I am in the window business. Often people that work for various manufacturers or retail companies selling window products leave companies to start their own. The American way. What happens in the window business is they usually go off and make their own products and go after the customers they sold with Clearview. Believe me, their are no trade secrets being stolen when making windows so that is not correct. Everyone in our business knows how to make windows and for the most part they are very similar so somewhat hard to steal any trade secrets to making them. If these guys had an exclusivity contract not to contact Clearview's customers, that's an issue, but if they did not, they can go after all the customers of Clearview with no problems. The money awarded is probably Clearview's take on the business they lost to these guys who probably took some of their business. Would love to know if they had an exclusivity contract. If not, they should not have been prosecuted.

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35Ypboy(64 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

He and Obama who looks like his Mama have alot in common...just a couple of dumb democrats.

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36IslandMike(764 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

Bin Laden is DEAD

Obama 2012!!!

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37jojuggie(1701 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

Also, this visit of Obama to our area is his farewell tour of America.

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38lumper(301 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

i still think the hot babe who was babysitting and claimed the infant fell on her house arrest monitor should be the standard bearer for the local democratic party. she certainly represents everything democrat.

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39Education_Voter(1153 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago


So the economy is improving in quite a few states, eh?
That's why the Republican National Committee told Republican Governor Scott of Florida to put a sock in it, and quit pointing out how much things have improved. Making the President look good!

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40jojuggie(1701 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

Hey Education, I live in FL., & don't understand your statement.

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41Education_Voter(1153 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

jojuggie, Read about here, among others:

Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign asked Florida Governor Rick Scott to tone down his statements heralding improvements in the state’s economy because they clash with the presumptive Republican nominee’s message that the nation is suffering under President Barack Obama, according to two people familiar with the matter.
Florida's employment rate has been improving for 11 straight months.

PrestituteMedia: Thank you. So the difference between Republican-led states and Democrat-led states is less than a half percent? And all states have improved?

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42slappysmith(55 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

i dont care what anyone says, the conservative faith are hilarious. they write greatest fictional comedies and always give me something to laugh about the constant babbling of rush limbaugh and fox news quips. your amazing ability to jump on any new buzz word and weild it as a sword is nothing short of knee slapping hysterical comedy genius

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43Education_Voter(1153 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

True. Then today the auditors report on the Iraq reconstruction...unaccountable millions wasted. Go figure. God forbid we tear down an empty house in the city, or give a hungry American child a meal.

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44BabaGhanoush(106 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

Education is a terrible thing to waste:
"That's why the Republican National Committee told Republican Governor Scott of Florida to put a sock in it, and quit pointing out how much things have improved. Making the President look good!"

What exactly did O'Bama tell Gov. Scott to do, eh?

Didn't realize that the executive branch now controls the Governor's Mansion in each state, eh?

Must be a surprise to Gov. Scott.

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45BabaGhanoush(106 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

If medicare denies the most claims now, how many will they deny when they are the only game in town, eh?


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46BabaGhanoush(106 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

Yo Hippydude,
That language was not in the House bill as it was snuck in by the Senile Senator from Montana.
He was bought off by Big Tobacco.
Probably did not take much to buy him off.
Maybe a couple of cartons of Marlboros.

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47BabaGhanoush(106 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

"Need to set this story straight. I am in the window business."

Yo dude, what do you make your windows from?
Memory? Some sketches on a napkin?

No, you use engineering drawings, don't you?

Any company that I've worked for has them and they have a little box that says that they are Proprietary Information that belongs to that company. And you sign a confidentiality agreement when you start there and when you leave. And that is, you don't take what you know and go to a competitor.
And taking drawings that do not belong to you is THEFT!
Subject to prosecution. And penalties. And fines.

"Everyone in our business knows how to make xxxxxx and for the most part they are very similar so somewhat hard to steal any trade secrets to making them."

So Fords are similar to Chevy's and therefore it's alright to use their technology?

I think NOT! And neither did the Judge.

That guy's lucky he's not in the hoosegow.

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